A day after the Supreme Court upheld the amendments to the Income Tax Act, making Aadhaar numbers or Aadhaar enrolment numbers for new PAN card applications and linking the UID number to the PAN card in order to file returns, the government said that PAN cards won’t be cancelled for taxpayers who don’t wish to obtain an Aadhaar number for now.
“Finally, the effect of the judgement is as following,” the finance ministry said in a statement on Saturday. “From July 1 onwards, every person eligible to obtain Aadhaar must quote their Aadhaar number or their Aadhaar enrolment number for filing income tax returns as well as applications for PAN.”
Secondly, the ministry statement drafted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes added: “Everyone who has been allotted PAN as on the 1 day of July, 2017, and who has Aadhaar number or is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number, shall intimate his Aadhaar number to income tax authorities for the purpose of linking PAN with Aadhaar.”
However, for non-compliance of the second point mentioned above, ‘only a partial relief by the Court has been given to those who do not have Aadhaar and who do not wish to obtain Aadhaar for the time being, that their PAN will not be cancelled so that other consequences under the Income Tax Act for failing to quote PAN may not arise.’
The Supreme Court, the government said, had upheld section 139 AA (1) of the Income Tax Act which mandatorily requires quoting of Aadhaar for new PAN applications as well as filing returns. It has also upheld section 139 AA (2) which requires that the Aadhaar number must be intimated to the prescribed authority for the purpose of linking with PAN.
“It is only the proviso to section 139 AA (2) where the Supreme Court has granted a partial stay for the time being pending resolution of the other cases before the larger bench of the Supreme Court,” the finance ministry said, referring to the Aadhaar-related matters pending before a Constitutional bench of the apex court.